PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarten has submitted a request to the Netherlands for a military vessel that can be used as a floating hospital.
Prime Minister and Chairperson of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), Silveria Jacobs said the Royal Netherlands Navy has several vessels that have spacious state-of-the-art sickbays where patients with contagious illnesses can be treated.
Some vessels have their own laboratories and a special quarantine area with a ventilation system, which is ideal for treating patients with contagious diseases. The hospital ship would also serve the islands of Saba and St. Eustatius which are public entities of the Netherlands.
Jacobs said while funding has been approved to outfit the pavilions that will be placed at St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) to house at least 10 patients, the country does not want to wait until it is required to have more capacity to serve Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten, hence the early request for the vessel that can be used as a floating hospital.
The EOC is still waiting to hear back from the Netherlands Ministry of Defence regarding the country’s request for military assistance.